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More information about exhibiting at the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition

The Summer Science Exhibition is a free, week-long festival celebrating the cutting edge of UK science. Over the course of the exhibition we welcome around 13,000 visitors. 

As the Royal Society's longest standing and largest public event, exhibiting is an excellent opportunity to engage a variety of audiences with your research. 

We welcome applications from academic institutions and industry who have innovative and exciting research to showcase which can form the basis of a fun, interactive and hands-on exhibition stand. 

Who can apply?
What is the exhibition like?
Audience breakdown
Preparing your exhibit
Funding your exhibit
During the event
What do our exhibitors say?

Who can apply?

Applications can be made indiviually or in collaboration. The lead applicant must be a senior researcher based in the UK.

Exhibitors may wish to jointly submit proposals with their collaborators and other research groups, and may also recruit undergraduates and students to build your exhibit team.

Find out how to apply and the selection criteria. 

Read additional information for industry applicants.

What is the exhibition like?

Watch our 360video from the 2018 exhibition to get a feel for the event. You can use the top arrow buttons to rotate the view around the different exhibition spaces.

If you would like to see the real thing, we will be running exhibition tours during the 2020 exhibition (6 - 12 July 2020) for interested applicants. Further information on this will be released in spring 2020.

Sign up to our mailing list for the latest updates.

Audience breakdown

Over the course of the exhibition, we welcome around 13,000 visitors through our doors.

As a rough breakdown, this includes around 10,000 members of the public; 2,000 school students and teachers from all over the UK; and 1,500 invited guests as part of our Soiree evenings, including representatives from media, government and policy influencers. 

Preparing your exhibit

Your exhibit should be engaging for a visitor who doesn't have a scientific background, and include interactive activities. All exhibit spaces are a standard size of 3m x 3m, or 4m x 2m. 

If successful in your application to exhibit in 2021, representatives of your exhibit group will be invited to the Planning Day at the Royal Society in late November. At this event the Society provides guidance on designing exhibits and you will get a chance to tour the exhibition space. Some exhibitors from the previous year also attend to share their experiences.

During the lead-up to the exhibition in July 2021, our Public Engagement team will be on hand to support you through the stages of your exhibit development.

In addition we provide media and communication skills training for members of each exhibit, along with resources you can take back to train your whole team.

Funding your exhibit

The cost of exhibiting varies a great deal, and effective exhibits can be delivered at a range of budgets. Exhibitors in the past have spent roughly as below:

Total spend
25% spent £25k 
25% spent £20k - £25k 
32% spent £15k - £20k 
19% spend £10k - £15k
0% spend under 10k 

Rough budget breakdown (%)
40% Exhibit Design and Build 
25% Displays and interactives 
25% Accommodation, travel and subsistence 
10% Freebies, T-shirts, insurance

We do not charge you to exhibit at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition, and we supply Wi-Fi and IT support. We also provide basic equipment such as tables if required.

Exhibitors are expected to approach their own institution, industrial partners, research councils or other relevant bodies that support public engagement with science and engineering to fund the costs associated with exhibiting.

The Royal Society can give advice about funding and can provide post-exhibition evaluation data which is often required by funding bodies. A limited 'support fund' is available for exhibitors to apply for additional funds. 

During the event

At least four members of the exhibition team should be on the stand during the public opening times for the exhibition and at the three additional evening events. We recommend having at least 8 members of staff on each stand per day to allow breaks. Visitors enjoy interacting with you and asking questions about your work.
 
After the exhibition, we encourage exhibitors to scope other opportunities to present the exhibit elsewhere, such as local science centres or science museums, local visitor attractions or public venues, local secondary school fairs or open days at research institutions. Your exhibit is an investment opportunity for supporting future public engagement work. 

What do our exhibitors say?

It was an incredible experience for us all. Thank you for the opportunity.

Exhibitor, 2018

The whole team had a great experience, right from the planning stages to the final day of presentation.

Exhibitor, 2017

Find out how to apply or read our guide for industry exhibitors. 

Contact us

If you have any questions, email us on exhibition@royalsociety.org or call on +44 20 7451 2582

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